tendinopathy - tendon tear - bursitis
Achilles' tendon injuries
The Achilles' tendon is the largest tendon in the body, stretching from the bones of the heel to the calf muscle. You can feel it - a band of tissue at the back of your ankle and above your heel. The tendon is stretched during "pushing off" exercise such as walking and running.
Tendons heal slowly because blood supply to them is generally poor. So activity to improve blood supply will help the tendon healing process.
Until recently Achilles tendinopathy was referred to as Achilles tendonitis. However, research has found that this type of injury does not involve inflammation and is most likely due to a series of micro tears (or tendinosis) that weaken the tendon.
There are a number of possible causes leading to an excessive loading on the Achilles, including:
- A sudden increase in the intensity, frequency and duration of activity
- Inadequate warm up, stretching and cool down or a decrease in recovery time
- Wearing inadequate or incorrect footwear
- Running on hard or uneven surfaces, or change of surface
- Poor muscle flexibility (e.g. tight calf muscles, weak calf muscles)
- Decreased joint range of motion (e.g. stiff ankle joint)
An Achilles tendon rupture is a complete or partial tear that occurs when the tendon is stretched beyond its capacity. Forceful jumping or pivoting, or sudden accelerations of running, can overstretch the tendon and cause a tear. An injury to the tendon can also result from falling or tripping.
Two less common Achilles injuries are:
- Peritendinitis - inflammation of the tendon sheath
- Bursitis- inflammation of the bursa
SportsMed TENS therapy
After a diagnosis of tendinopathy, tendon tear, bursitis or peritendinitis your injury management plan should include treatment as often as possible.
SportsMed is the physical therapy product we suggest to aid recovery of an Achilles' tendon injury.
SportsMed electrotherapy can be used everyday - outside the clinic - for drug-free, on-demand pain relief. It is also designed and programmed to aid circulation, reduce inflammation, hasten healing and help with calf muscle strengthening.
- RELIEVE mode:
- Pain relief (modulated low and high frequency TENS; continuous, comfortable intensity)
- Early stage injury treatment (modulated low to medium frequency ECS; continuous, low intensity)
- RECOVERY mode - injury healing
- Later stage injury treatment (modulated low to medium frequency EMS and ECS; surging, medium intensity)
- EXERCISE mode - muscle strengthening
- Rehabilitation stage (high frequency EMS; surging, medium to high intensity)
Pad placement - Achilles' tendon
SportsMed treatment guide
|Pain relief||RELIEVE||Low to medium||Minimum 60 minutes||On demand|
|Muscle soreness||RELIEVE||Low||Several hours||Daily for 1 or 2 days|
|Scar tissue||RELIEVE||Low||Several hours||Daily as needed|
|Soft tissue healing||RECOVER||Medium||10 to 20 minutes||3 times per day|
|Circulation||RELIEVE or RECOVER||Low||60 minutes||as often as needed|
|Rehabilitation||EXERCISE||Medium||5 to 15 minutes||3 times per day|
|Rehabilitation||EXERCISE||Medium to high||10 to 20 minutes||3 times per day|
|On RELIEVE mode – muscles should not contract or twitch|
|On RECOVER mode – muscles should contract, mildly|
|On EXERCISE mode – muscles should contract, mildly or strongly – as required|